Ford's 257kW Focus RS uber-hatch will go on sale in Australia in the first quarter of 2016 with an asking price in the region of $50,000.
And unlike the last generation Focus RS - of which Ford imported just 315 and which retailed for $59,990 - the 2016 RS will be available as a full-volume model with no constraint on supply.
Speaking to TMR, Ford Australia PR head Wes Sherwood said the Focus RS would be pitched against rivals like the $52,740 Volkswagen Golf R, rather than higher-end hot hatches like the $62,900 BMW M135i, $61,100 Audi S3 or $75,800 Mercedes-AMG A45.
And that would make it something of a performance bargain, considering the 257kW/440Nm Focus RS is only beaten for power output by the A45.
The Focus RS' official peak torque figure of 440Nm is 10Nm down on the M135i, but its 'transient overboost' setting can lift that figure to 470Nm for 15-second bursts.
"We want to bring in that type of performance and make it available for the masses," Sherwood said to TMR.
"Clearly the luxury marques are moving into the middle market as well so there’s a bit of a blurring of the lines, but we don’t at this point see ourselves as Audi or BMW competitors [on price]."
It's a similar pricing strategy to what Ford employed with its Focus ST, which is one of the most powerful FWD hot hatches available, but at $38,290 is also one of the least expensive. Ford is banking that its more-for-less formula will resonate with enthusiasts.
What's also expected to appeal to the fast-hatch crowd is the Focus RS' unique Drift Mode, which enables the AWD Focus RS to direct most of its torque to the rear axle to execute lairy tail-out slides.
Previously rumoured to be disabled for Australian-delivered cars, Ford spokesperson Neil McDonald confirmed to TMR that Drift Mode will be available locally because it is tied in to the car's Track Mode drive setting and not intended for street use.
Precise specifications and pricing are still being hammered out, but expect to hear more about Ford's plans for the Focus RS closer to the end of 2015.
For a full rundown on the Focus RS' impressive stats, check out the links below:
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